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India vs Australia: 'Felt Like I Was Making Debut Again, Had Lost Joy of Cricket for a While' - R Ashwin

India vs Australia: 'Felt Like I Was Making Debut Again, Had Lost Joy of Cricket for a While' - R Ashwin

R Ashwin was the star bowler for India picking up 4 for 55 in the first innings of the first Test against Australia in Adelaide, including the key wicket of Steve Smith. The offspinner's effort helped India bowl Australia out for 191, giving the visitors a 53-run lead in the first innings.

R Ashwin was the star bowler for India picking up 4 for 55 in the first innings of the first Test against Australia in Adelaide, including the key wicket of Steve Smith. The offspinner's effort helped India bowl Australia out for 191, giving the visitors a 53-run lead in the first innings.

Ashwin said he felt like he was making his debut again and was only looking to 'enjoy' his cricket once again.

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"I am so happy that we are playing Test cricket again. It's been a long time and I didn't imagine that we will be playing Test cricket looking at what's happening around," Ashwin said during a virtual press conference.

"Me being extremely mad about the sport, did a lot of work even during the lockdown. So it felt refreshing to go out there and bowl, the feeling was great the pink-ball Test and all that new thing about the pink ball.

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"Felt amazing to go out there and play. I felt I was making my debut all over again so I really enjoyed bowling.

"Obviously, Smith wicket was a big wicket. The way he bats, how much time he bats and his appetite for runs is huge. The context of the game, where it was placed, so it was an important wicket and I enjoyed it."

Ashwin said it's important to not compare different spinners as each one has their own ways.

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"Every spinner is different. Sometimes things can get blown out of context in terms of how one approaches his trade compared to another. Even in this Test match, Nathan  (Lyon) and I we both bowl very differently. We are different bowlers and successful in our own ways.

"For me it's not about the trajectory or anything, it's about changing it up and making it difficult for the batsmen to be able to defend. Sometimes when you're playing 4 bowlers, especially abroad, where my trade is just to hold one end up and rotate the fast bowlers at the other end and also go for wickets if I do get assistance or early wickets, it makes it important for me to make it as difficult as possible for the batsmen to defend."

Ashwin has, rather unfairly, been under the scanner for his performances overseas although he has had crucial roles in Test match victories in England and Australia.

"In the last two years, people might not reflect upon a couple of not-so-great situations or matches if I may call so. I've had decent outings every time I've played abroad in the last 18 months or so. Things can get blown out of context. I've put those things in the shelf and in the backyard. I really want to enjoy and have all the fun I possibly can. I don't want to sit and think if that's the best or not, there's an innings to go and looking forward to the entire Test series," he said

"These sort of comparisons and the way we look at things are really skewed. Nobody asks batsmen to watch how Steve Smith bats and replicate that all the time we tour Australia. Nobody does that to Alastair Cook or Joe Root. I think we're all aware that everyone is different, so you can learn. There's no stopping what you can learn from others, how they go about their business and the finer things.

"I've always maintained that especially when we travel, the passages of play must go your way if you're a spinner because you're doing a twin job against the conditions. I see if I can learn and prepare thoroughly for the batsman and that's all one can do. How people perceive it and compare is for them, you guys do a job and I do mine."

Ashwin revealed he had lost the joy of cricket for a while but was happy to have it back after the lockdown this year.

"I want to play cricket from inside. I somehow felt that I might have not had the kind of joy walking out for a while... it's quite natural, happens to people over a period of time. For me to bring about the joy, I thought, it's not the greatest of times but reflecting on cricket in the lockdown I was able to bring back enjoying cricket, something I lost for a while."



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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